Hundreds of households in and around Boston have been hit by the ‘bedroom tax’, each losing on average more than £700 a year.
Figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that 433 households in the borough have been affected since the changes to housing benefit rules. Their average loss per year is £710.65.
Since April, the amount of benefit people can get if they are deemed to have a ‘spare’ bedroom in their council or housing association home has been cut.
Concerns have been raised that there is a lack of smaller properties for householders in Boston to avoid the cut to the benefit.
Boston borough councillor Paul Gleeson, leader of the Labour group, said: “You have got a situation where someone is in a property with an extra bedroom, but there’s no viable option for them to move within social housing.”
It was a point echoed by Yvonne Robinson, advice services manager of Boston Citizen Advice Bureau, based in Lincoln Lane, who said: “The difficulty is that you end up with people who are trapped in a property.”
Housing association Boston Mayflower says it has amended the system through which people apply for affordable housing to give greater priority to those wishing to move to smaller accommodation.
It says is has also helped 41 out of about 60 households who have expressed a desire to downsize to do so.